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Nets out now

Media Release
Larissa Waters 26 Aug 2022

After the tenth whale has today been entangled in Queensland shark nets, the Greens are again calling on the state government for an urgent review of Queensland’s system of shark nets and drum lines.

Lines attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, Greens leader in the Senate

"Nets and drumlines are indiscriminate killers of protected wildlife, and the evidence shows non-lethal measures are more effective at protecting swimmers.

"The Queensland Government’s Great Barrier Reef shark control program is more than 50 years old and has killed more than 85,000 marine animals including sharks, turtles and dolphins. "Queensland’s shark control program is completely out of date and isn’t in line with community expectations for protecting swimmers without harming marine life.

"There are plenty of non-lethal options that should be considered, including shark shield personal deterrent devices, shark spotter programs, eco-shark barriers and increased public education, and will do much more for people’s safety, marine life and tourism.

Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson

"There is no evidence that nets and drumlines make ocean-goers safe. They are merely designed to provide a sense of security.

"This isn’t a choice between keeping marine life or humans safe, both are possible.

"Modern-day alternatives to shark nets that better protect ocean-users and the environment exist. We wouldn’t accept 50 year old safety measures anywhere else, so why our beaches?

"The pain and suffering caused by lethal shark nets to non-target species might be considered collateral damage to some, but when alternate shark mitigation measures exist and aren’t enforced then the death of these species is no accident, it’s slaughter.

"Australia is the only country in the world to utilise these lethal and unjustified measures for shark mitigation, making us an international embarrassment.

"The Federal Government has an important role to play in protecting endangered marine life killed by lethal shark nets and drumlines deployed by the states.

"The upcoming review of Australia’s EPBC laws is an opportunity for the Labor Government to remove existing exemptions to state controlled lethal shark net programs that risk federally protected species.

"While the Morrison Government deliberately avoided taking any responsibility and showed no leadership in this critical matter of public interests, I’m eager to commence working immediately with the new Labor Government.

"Labor should start by doing what the previous Government failed to do and respond to the Senate Inquiry recommendations. 

In 2018 the Australian Senate inquiry into shark mitigation policy Chaired by Senator Whish-Wilson found that the Federal Government needs to show leadership in striking the right balance between mitigating the risks of shark encounters and conserving nature.

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